[Dixielandjazz] Marsalis concert - continued

john Petters jpettjazz@btinternet.com
Thu, 8 Aug 2002 00:49:11 +0100

Brian said
> Many years ago I was involved in the organisation and promotion of many
> British concert tours.
> One was by a Woody Herman Herd containing British musicians. They
> the sounds of the great Herds and it sounded fine to me - very exciting or
> maybe I have cloth ears.

I did not see this band - but I did see a British Benny Goodman Orch circa
71 which I thought was wonderful until I heard Carnegie Hall in 38. I 've
got both LPs and I bought the 38 concert on CD. Guess what the 71 recording
remains unplayed. yes Brian I had cloth ears in those days - I don't now.
Nothing wrong with current American musicians recreating but let's not
describe it as a swing concert when the musical styles of the soloists were
from a later period.
Judging from what Charlie Hooks and Jim Beebe are saying, if I were to hear
a band with either of these guys in it, I am pretty sure that,
stylistically, they would be playing within the loosley defined idiom of
traditional jazz. Many of the Marsalis sidemen were not. Playing traditional
jazz requires dedication and devotion to the music.

Tonight after a good curry, Trevor Whiting  (probably the UKs finest
reedman) and I retired to his house (next door) and listened to some music.
Trevor is much more into post 1944 styles of jazz than I am. I find Parker
largley uninspiring - I prefer Hodges with Duke or, as I was listening to
earlier, James P Johnson's Blue Note Jazzmen from '44 with Webster and
Trevor first played a a JATP session from the late 50s with Sonny Stitt and
Roy Eldridge in front of an Oscar Peterson group. Stitt sounded like Paker
with the Bird taken out - millions of notes all saying noyhing. No melody.
Peterson followed - same deal - boring, boring, boring!. Only Roy was
playing anything with any real content and even he sounded uninspired
compared to the wonderful session with Pres on the Jazz Giants 56 album.
Having given that the bum's rush, Trevor then put on a 60s album by Johnny
Griffin, with the fussiest, busiest drummer I've heard in years. Same deal -
mega notes per bar and the total destruction of a good Gershwin tune. I
don't know why they bothered.
Then we heard the 1923 Piron recording of Bouncin' Around with Lorenzo Tio
jnr on clarinet. This was  primative music compared to the other stuff - but
it had melody, economy, great musicianship and it swung.
>From that we moved to the Jelly Roll Trio sides from '29? with Zutty and
Barney Bigard - again more magic. Then on to Dodds with Jimmy Blyth & Jimmy
Bertrand and finally to Louis with the Hot Five and then with Oliver. This
was what it was all about and it did not get any better.

And this is the point of my criticism of the Marsalis Orch. There was no
attempt to comprehend the earlier styles that the band were supposed to be
playing (with the exception of the alto man  playing Hodges part on Isfahan
and Marsalis playing an on the beat version of Cootie on Duke's Portrait of
Louis Armstrong). The early players played because they believed in the
music. The impression  I got from the Marsalis crowd was that   of we'll
take the gig and blow how we want to regardless of the musical idiom.

> So - what's wrong with current American musicians also recreating?
> I was at no time saying that what the Marsalis herd played on that
> was as good as the originals - just that it wasn't bebop as Mr Petters >
claimed - and that it was enjoyable.

It would appear that Brian Harvey cannott tell the difference between a solo
created in a style that predates Bebop and one that includes the runs and
changes that were only apparent after Charlie Parker had changed the music.
Like it or not, Bebop with its ugly harmoines was a revolutionary new music
that messed up a lot of players who had been enjoying fame and prosperity
during the swing era. Some survived, some changed and some were unaffected
by it.  For my money I'll stick with the melody and swing that came
stylistically before Bird and his oppos stirred it up

John Petters
Amateur Radio Station G3YPZ
----- Original Message -----
From: "brian.harvey5" <brian.harvey5@ntlworld.com>
To: "DJML" <dixielandjazz@ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Wednesday, August 07, 2002 7:52 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Marsalis concert - continued

. It would probably have sounded very much the same
> even without the presence of Woody except for that unique toned clarinet
> his understanding and appreciation of the blues.

> _______________________________________________
> Dixielandjazz mailing list
> Dixielandjazz@ml.islandnet.com
> http://ml.islandnet.com/mailman/listinfo/dixielandjazz